Beauty, Bellies and Babies

15 August 2019

How far you go to look your best is all about choice, and for some this may include medical intervention. Maybe it’s just a quick fix for your upcoming high school reunion, or it might be routine. Whether it be Botox, filler, or just a little a bit of salicylic acid in your cleanser, what our beauty routine involves typically is quite different to what we should be doing when we are trying to conceive.When becoming pregnant is taking longer than we thought it would, this too can wear our patience. What seemed like a short time to give up our favourite cosmeceuticals may, unfortunately, drag on to a very long period to spend with our favourite frown line. But, according to many experts, including ours, it is worth listening to advice on this one.Here is a list of commonly used beauty products and some advice on whether they are safe to use when you’re trying to make a healthy baby.

BOTOX: Enjoy the increased expression in your face for a while; unfortunately botulinum toxins can remain active six months or more in our body, it is sensible for women trying to conceive to avoid Botox injections. Botox manufacturers Allergan state that, although the complications remain unknown, pregnant and breast-feeding women should always tell their doctor if they are thinking of using Botox.

FILLERS: As dermal fillers are injected locally at the treatment site; either in muscles or the layer under the skin and not intravenously (in veins), the chemicals are highly unlikely to enter in the blood circulation.

SALICYLIC ACID CLEANSER: If your hormones are all over the place and you have more pimples than you did in Year Nine then you may need help! Salicylic Acid Cleansers are increasingly popular for blemish prone skin. Although there is only a relatively small amount of salicylic acid absorbed into the skin with this type of cleanser, and we wash it off immediately, but there isn’t enough research on the active ingredients’ effects on pregnant women to classify them as entirely safe. So dermatologists err on the side of caution by recommending that pregnant women or those trying to conceive either avoid them altogether or topical use only in low concentrations (2%). Salicylic acid used in higher concentrations are not recommended, so be cautious and check your labels. There are safer alternatives that can be used instead of Salicylic Acid. Glycolic Acid or Lactic acid, for example, are deemed safe in pregnancy. As with all pregnancy-related decisions, consult with your doctor if you are unsure.

ANTIBIOTICS: (for skin conditions): If your breakouts require a more heavy-handed approach, your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics. Tell your doctor you are trying to conceive or may be pregnant so they can prescribe the safest option.

LASER HAIR REMOVAL: The thought that in nine months, there could be a host of people seeing below your waist is enough motivation to trim the hedge before you can no longer see the garden at all. The good news is that laser is safe to use while you are trying to conceive as the laser only penetrates a small distance below the skin. Get your horticultural affairs in order now ladies, as it isn’t recommended in pregnancy.

MOLE REMOVAL: If you want any minor moles removed you should do this before you get pregnant or wait until after you’ve given birth. Whilst some might see removing a mole is a minor procedure; usually, it is nonetheless a risk (bleeding and infection) that can be avoided. This adage does not apply to suspicious moles and lesions- something very familiar to Australians; they should be assessed by your doctor immediately. Also, if you have annoying skin tags before you conceive, get rid of them now as you’ll probably grow more of them in pregnancy!

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